JP6455737B2 - Method, robot cleaner, computer program and computer program product - Google Patents

Method, robot cleaner, computer program and computer program product Download PDF

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Publication number
JP6455737B2
JP6455737B2 JP2016526759A JP2016526759A JP6455737B2 JP 6455737 B2 JP6455737 B2 JP 6455737B2 JP 2016526759 A JP2016526759 A JP 2016526759A JP 2016526759 A JP2016526759 A JP 2016526759A JP 6455737 B2 JP6455737 B2 JP 6455737B2
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Prior art keywords
robot cleaner
periphery
configured
object
area
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JP2017501472A (en
Inventor
リンデ、マグヌス
フォルスベルグ、ペッテル
ヘーゲルマルク、アンデルス
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アクチエボラゲット エレクトロルックス
アクチエボラゲット エレクトロルックス
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Priority to PCT/EP2013/077384 priority Critical patent/WO2015090402A1/en
Publication of JP2017501472A publication Critical patent/JP2017501472A/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0212Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory
    • G05D1/0221Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory involving a learning process
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L11/00Machines for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L11/40Parts or details of machines not provided for in groups A47L11/02 - A47L11/38, or not restricted to one of these groups, e.g. handles, arrangements of switches, skirts, buffers, levers
    • A47L11/4011Regulation of the cleaning machine by electric means; Control systems and remote control systems therefor
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0231Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0231Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means
    • G05D1/0246Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means using a video camera in combination with image processing means
    • G05D1/0248Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means using a video camera in combination with image processing means in combination with a laser
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0231Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means
    • G05D1/0246Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means using a video camera in combination with image processing means
    • G05D1/0251Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means using a video camera in combination with image processing means extracting 3D information from a plurality of images taken from different locations, e.g. stereo vision
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0268Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using internal positioning means
    • G05D1/0274Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using internal positioning means using mapping information stored in a memory device
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L2201/00Robotic cleaning machines, i.e. with automatic control of the travelling movement or the cleaning operation
    • A47L2201/04Automatic control of the travelling movement; Automatic obstacle detection
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D2201/00Application
    • G05D2201/02Control of position of land vehicles
    • G05D2201/0203Cleaning or polishing vehicle

Description

  The present invention relates to a robot cleaner and a method for teaching the periphery of at least a portion of an area in a robot cleaner.

  Robotic vacuum cleaners are known in the art. Generally, a robot vacuum cleaner is provided with a drive device in the form of a motor for moving the cleaner on the surface to be cleaned. The robot vacuum cleaner is also equipped with intelligence in the form of a microprocessor and navigation means to allow the robotic vacuum cleaner to move around freely, e.g. to clean a space in the form of a room, for example, to act autonomously. .

  In many technical fields, autonomous robots can be used to move freely in space without colliding with obstacles that may exist, walls that limit the perimeter of the room, or others. desirable.

  As an example, there is a robotic vacuum cleaner in the art that nearly autonomously vacuums a room with tables and chairs and other obstacles such as walls and stairs. Conventionally, these robotic vacuum cleaners are navigated in a room using, for example, ultrasound or light waves or laser beams. By means of these ultrasonic, light or laser beams, the robotic vacuum cleaner can determine walls and other obstacles and prevent them from rushing straight toward them. In addition, robotic vacuum cleaners typically must be supplemented with additional sensors such as stair sensors, wall tracking sensors, and various transponders in order to operate accurately. Such sensors are expensive and affect the reliability of the robot. Another method would be to attach a boundary or perimeter marker as known from robotic lawnmowers. However, this is cumbersome and takes some time before the user uses the robot cleaner.

  A number of prior art robotic vacuum cleaners employ a technique called Simulaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). SLAM is related to the problem of navigation of the environment using the map simultaneously with the construction of the map of the unknown environment by the mobile robot cleaner. This is in some cases combined with a horizontal scanning laser for range measurement. In addition, a mileage measurement method is used to provide the approximate position of the robot as measured by the movement of the robot wheels. The combination of SLAM and mileage measurement makes it a tedious and time consuming process for the robot cleaner to adapt to and learn the room or area in which it operates. Therefore, the first few cleaning processes take a long time, which can be quite substantial, such as driving from one side of the room to the other with little plan on how to perform the cleaning process. Includes inefficiencies. Furthermore, duplicate cleaning movements may occur, meaning that certain areas are cleaned twice during the same cleaning process.

  US Patent Application No. 2002/0091466 discloses a first camera directed to a ceiling of a room for recognizing a base mark on the ceiling, and a line laser that emits a linear light beam toward the obstacle, the obstacle Discloses a mobile robot comprising a second camera for recognizing a reflected linear light beam from the camera. The line laser emits a beam in the form of a straight line that extends horizontally in front of the mobile robot.

The use of ceiling base marks and ceiling markers generally presents certain drawbacks. First, the robot needs to have two cameras, at least one camera "looks up" on the ceiling and another camera looks in the direction of movement, ie the direction of the laser beam from the horizontal line laser. This is expensive and complicates the construction of the robot. In addition, the user must attach at least one base mark to the ceiling using a chair or ladder.

In addition, the robot disclosed in US Patent Application No. 2002/0091466 uses a ceiling base mark to determine its position, ie for mapping, and provides an effective cleaning pattern and effective Need the help of a ceiling marker to realize a clean cleaning process. In addition, if the room or area is large, the user may need to attach multiple base marks on the ceiling to prevent the robot from getting lost.

  The robots described in the above prior art are therefore not as autonomous as possible and have at least the disadvantages described above.

  In view of the above-mentioned drawbacks, an object of the present invention is to provide an autonomous and effective robot cleaner.

  Another object is to provide a robot cleaner that can be set up in an intuitive and simple manner.

  Another object of the present invention is to provide an economical robot cleaner.

  Another object of the present invention is to provide a method that facilitates the installation and start-up phase of a robot cleaner.

  Disclosed herein is a method for teaching a robot cleaner about the perimeter of a region of interest so that the robot cleaner can monitor an obstacle detection device of the robot cleaner for at least a portion of the region. And the obstacle detection device of the robot cleaner so that the position of the object is tracked and continuously recorded while the object moves along the periphery of at least part of the area. Controlling and generating peripheral position data from a continuous record of the position of the object.

  This method has the advantage that the robot cleaner can be set intuitively by the user.

  An area can be "clean this area", "clean this area every time", "clean this area every other time", "clean this area once a week" and / or "clean this area" It may be identified as “not cleaning”. A corresponding command may be supplied to the robot cleaner, for example, via a user interface.

  For example, if a thick carpet is laid in the area, the user may instruct the robot cleaner not to clean the carpet to avoid catching it. Conversely, in the case of a kitchen, the kitchen is more prone to dirt than other partial areas or areas, so the user may set an instruction to “clean once a day”.

  In addition, if the layout of an area is changed, for example by moving furniture, the user may provide the robot cleaner with a “new” area or position data, thereby resetting the position data of the “old” area. Good.

  The robot cleaner may record the perimeter of the region or at least a portion of the region by entering the teaching mode via the interface or others. After the position data has been recorded and created, the robot cleaner may be switched to a cleaning mode, in which the cleaner is configured to clean at least a portion of the surface of the area. The teaching phase may be terminated by confirming this to the robot cleaner via the user interface.

  When the robot cleaner starts the cleaning process, the region and its periphery can be grasped from the recorded map of the periphery, so that the robot cleaner can efficiently start moving from the beginning.

  Other steps of the method may include switching the robot cleaner to a cleaning mode, for example via a user interface.

  Switching to the cleaning mode may help the user communicate better with the robot cleaner. It may be clear to the robot cleaner what to do and when to clearly distinguish between the teaching and cleaning stages.

  The above steps of this method may also be performed for other perimeters, after which the recorded perimeters may be merged, and from the merged perimeter, the location of the area, such as a map, layout, or floor plan Data may be created.

  This may be beneficial if the area is large or complex and includes a large number of edges and corners.

  Therefore, the cleaning target area may be divided into a plurality of partial areas.

  Alternatively, a partial region of the surface where the region itself is larger may be formed.

  The above steps may be repeated for various perimeters until the entire area is covered and position data for the entire area is generated.

  Therefore, the robot cleaner can be used flexibly and for multiple purposes.

  The map may be identified via a robot cleaner user interface after the perimeter is recorded and position data is generated.

  The robot cleaner may be configured to combine and store various maps of different areas, so the maps are named for example “corridor” or “kitchen” or “living room”. May be.

  Further provided herein is a robot cleaner, a body, a cleaning portion configured to clean the floor of the area of interest, and a propulsion configured to move the robot cleaner within the area of interest. A robot cleaner including a system and an obstacle detection device including a processing unit is disclosed. The processing unit may be configured to control the propulsion system, and the positioning system monitors the periphery of at least a portion of the area and moves the position of an object along the periphery of the object to be cleaned. Configured to track in between and record continuously. The processing unit may be further configured to generate position data for its periphery from continuously recorded positions.

  Such robot cleaners are easy to set up, operate quickly and efficiently from the initial cleaning operation or process, and are easy to handle for the user. This may further enable an intuitive setting of the robot cleaner.

  The obstacle detection device may be embodied in the form of a 3D sensor system.

  A 3D sensor system is a camera system, 3D camera system, infrared (IR) sensor, and / or ultrasonic sensor, microwave radar for detecting obstacles and communicating information about any detected obstacles to the processing unit. Further, it may be embodied in the form of a laser scanner or the like.

  The robot cleaner described above is efficient from the start without having to go through a long and time-consuming step as it learns a room or area and builds location data such as a map, layout or floor plan for that area. Can work.

  The obstacle detection device may include a 3D sensor system.

  The 3D sensor system includes a camera device configured to record an image of the vicinity of the robot cleaner, and first and second vertical line lasers configured to illuminate the vicinity of the robot cleaner. May be included. The processing unit may be further configured to derive position data from the recorded image.

  The camera device and the 3D sensor system each facilitate the recognition of moving objects and enable their continuous tracking. The camera device is configured to take a plurality of images per second, so that the camera system easily keeps track of moving objects.

  The moving object may move at a speed of 0.5 m / second to 2.5 m / second.

  Specific features may be derived from the image, the exact position of the moving object may be determined, and peripheral position data may be generated via a 3D sensor system.

  The processing unit may be configured to extract the features from the image, for example via a suitable computer program product.

  Line lasers can improve the quality of images taken by the camera device, and therefore they improve the results of continuous recording of the position of moving objects.

  In some embodiments, the processing unit may control the propulsion system in such a way that the robot cleaner turns substantially in place while the obstacle detection device is observing an object moving along the periphery. It may be configured.

  The robot cleaner may therefore not move around during the teaching phase, i.e. it may be positioned stationary, but it can continue to track moving objects by turning. The line laser may be a vertical line laser. The robot cleaner is configured to be stationary.

  Instead of a swiveling robot cleaner, a positioning system and obstacle detection device may be connected in a rotatable manner on the body of the robot cleaner, preferably on it, so that this An object moving along the periphery can be observed by rotating while the main body of the machine is stationary.

  Accordingly, it may be possible to provide a robot cleaner that includes a rotatable positioning system and an obstacle detection device, respectively, so that it can keep track of moving objects.

  In some embodiments, the robot cleaner may include a user interface for communicating with a user.

  The user interface can be better communicated between the user and the robot cleaner.

  The moving object may be the user himself / herself.

  To be recognizable, the user may carry a special cloth, such as a reflective vest or others.

  This makes the teaching stage much more intuitive.

  The moving object may be a reflector or a marker such as a transmitter, which may be carried while the user is following the periphery.

  The transmitter may be an ultrasonic device, a wireless device, an infrared device, or any other device suitable for establishing communication with a robot cleaner receiver.

  If a transmitter is used, the receiver may be installed in a robot cleaner, and the receiver is connected to the processing unit.

  Another aspect of the present invention is a computer-executable instruction comprising a computer-executable instruction that, when the computer-executable instruction is executed on a processing unit, causes a robot cleaner to perform the steps described above. Regarding the program.

  Another aspect of the invention relates to a computer program product comprising a computer readable storage medium having a computer program therein.

  In general, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to “an element, device, component, means, step, etc.” are intended to refer to at least one example of that element, device, component, means, step, etc., unless expressly stated otherwise. It should be interpreted comprehensively. The steps of any method disclosed herein may not be performed in the order disclosed, unless explicitly stated to that effect.

  The present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

1 schematically shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a robot cleaner according to the invention. 1 schematically shows a bottom view of a robot cleaner according to the invention. 1 schematically shows a robot cleaner according to the invention monitoring the periphery of an area; Fig. 4 schematically shows a view similar to Fig. 3, showing a robot cleaner according to the invention positioned in another area. FIG. 5 schematically shows a view similar to FIGS. 3 and 4 showing a robot cleaner according to the invention positioned in another area. 2 shows a flowchart according to the method of the invention.

  The present invention will be described in more detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which specific embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in various forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein, which are intended to be exhaustive and complete. And are provided by way of example in order to fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description.

  The present invention relates to a robot cleaner, or in other words, an automatic self-propelled machine for cleaning a surface, such as a robot vacuum cleaner or a robot floor washer or mop. The robot cleaner 1 according to the present invention uses a cord, battery type or any other type of suitable energy source, such as solar energy, used in connection with a power source. It may be a thing.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, an exemplary embodiment of a robot cleaner 1 that includes a body 2 and a positioning system 4 is shown. Body 2 includes a propulsion system 7,8, the nozzle element, and the cleaning unit 1 0 comprising a cleaning opening or cleaning member 11, and. The positioning system 4 includes a first vertical line laser 12 and a second vertical line laser 14, an obstacle detection device, a processing unit 20, and a user interface 24. Processing unit 20, as shown in Figure 1, includes a storage medium 22 having computer program 2 5.

  The obstacle detection device may be embodied in the form of a 3D sensor system 15 that includes first and second vertical line lasers 12, 14.

  The 3D sensor system may be embodied in a laser scanner, a camera, a radar, a 3D camera system, a camera including a line laser, an infrared scanner, and other forms.

  FIG. 1 shows a positioning system 4 attached to the upper part of the main body 2 of the robot cleaner 1. In this case, the positioning system 4 is fixedly attached to the body 2 so that the 3D sensor system 15 is generally looking forward (see FIG. 2) of the robot cleaner. Alternatively, the positioning system 4 may be rotatably attached to the main body 2 (see FIG. 5). This may require a drive mechanism configured to drive the rotation (clockwise and counterclockwise) of the positioning system 4. The drive mechanism may be connected to the processing unit 20 and the control means, respectively, because the processing unit 20 or the control device can drive the rotational movement of the positioning system 4. The positioning system 4 may also include a user interface 24 to allow better communication between the robot cleaner 1 and the user.

With reference to FIG. 1, for illustration purposes, each of the obstacle detection device and positioning system 4 and the 3D sensor system 15 are separated from the body 2 of the robot cleaner 1 . However, in an actual embodiment, the 3D sensor system 15 is likely to be integrated with the body 2 of the robot cleaner 1 , and the height of the robot cleaner 1 is minimized, so that this is for example a sofa or the like You can get under the obstacles.

The propulsion systems 7, 8 of the robot cleaner 1 may include a drive mechanism 7, a drive device 8, and drive wheels 36, 38, as best shown in FIG. The drive wheels 36 and 38 may be configured to move independently from each other via the drives 9 and 9 ′ of the drive device 8. Each of the drive wheels 36, 38 may include a drive 9, 9 '. The drive device 8, i.e. the two drives 9, 9 ', may be connected to the processing unit 20 or control means. Each drive 9, 9 ′ may further include a suspension and gearbox for the associated drive wheels 36, 38.

  Alternatively, the propulsion systems 7, 8 may be embodied in the form of a crawler system, a hovercraft system, or the drive device 8 includes drives 9, 9 ′ and drive wheels 36, 38 as shown.

Still referring to FIG. 1, a processing unit 20 embodied in the form of one or more microprocessors includes a suitable storage medium 22 associated with the microprocessor, such as random access memory (RAM), flash memory, or The computer program 25 downloaded to a hard disk drive or the like is configured to be executed. The processing unit 20 is configured to perform the method according to an embodiment of the present invention when an appropriate computer program 25 containing computer-executable instructions is downloaded to the storage medium 22 and executed by the processing unit 20. Storage medium 22 also includes computer program 25 may Nde contains, may be a computer program product. Alternatively, the computer program 25 may be transferred to the storage medium 22 by a suitable computer program product, such as a digital versatile disc (DVD), a compact disc (CD), or a memory stick. As another alternative, the computer program 25 may be downloaded to the storage medium 22 through a network. The processing unit 20 may alternatively be embodied in the form of a digital signal processor (DSP), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gate array (FPGA), complex programmable logic device (CPLD), or the like.

  FIG. 2 shows one possible shape of the robot cleaner 1. Such a shape can increase the ability of the robot to reach a corner or edge. The main body 2 of the robot cleaner includes a front end portion 13 having a front end edge 17, a rear end portion 48, a right side edge 44 connecting the front end edge 17 and the rear end portion 48, a front end edge 17 and a rear end portion 48. And a left side edge 46 to be connected. The front end portion 13 of the main body 2 of the robot cleaner 1 is a portion of the main body 2 located between the drive shaft 40 and the front end edge 17. The front end portion 13 may basically be a quadrilateral, possibly having a slightly rounded corner, where the front end edge 17 meets the right edge 44 and the left edge 46, respectively. The leading edge 17 is flat / straight or is slightly curved to enter further corners as shown in FIG.

Round of some or circular Mi, other types of the robot cleaner may be configured to perform or operate with the present invention.

  The front end portion 13 may further include a bumper (not shown). The bumper may be configured to be replaceable.

A rotating brush (not shown) may be disposed on the protruding portion of the main body 2. Rotating brushes, nozzles element dust rotated, may be moved in the direction of opening or nozzle elements in cleaning opening or cleaning member 11,. The brush may be configured such that it extends outside the periphery of the body 2 and / or the bumper and may be placed on the protruding member.

Cleaning unit 10 further nozzle, a suction fan for sucking dust from the cleaning opening or cleaning member 11, the dust collecting unit may include a.

Alternatively, the cleaning member 11 may be a sweeping brush or floor mop.

  FIG. 6 shows the method steps according to the method of the present invention performed by a robot cleaner according to the present invention. The method relates to the teaching of region 28 or at least a portion of periphery 30 or a plurality of periphery 30, 30 '. In S01, the robot cleaner 1 may be positioned so that at least a part of the cleaning target area 28 can be observed or monitored. This may be inside or outside the region 28 and the peripheral edges 30, 30 ', respectively. The robot cleaner 1 may be configured to automatically position so that the peripheral edges 30, 30 'can be monitored, or may be positioned by the user as such. The monitoring may be performed by the positioning system 4 via the obstacle detection device / 3D sensor system 15 and the first and second vertical line lasers 12,14. The 3D sensor system may include a camera device 18 configured to record an image, which is illuminated by vertical line lasers 12,14. After positioning, in S02, the positioning system 4 and the obstacle detection device each continuously track and record the position of the object 34 while the object moves along the peripheral edge 30 of at least a part of the area 28 to be cleaned. It may be controlled to do. The processing unit 20 and the storage medium 22 may store the continuously measured position and create a map from the continuous recording of the position of the moving object 34 in S03.

The method may optionally include a first decision making step 42, where the positioning system 4 and the obstacle detection device, i.e. the 3D sensor system, respectively, should record the other periphery 30 ', Alternatively, it is determined whether the recording is finished.

  When the recording is completed, the user may confirm this to the robot cleaner through the user interface 24 arranged on the main body 2 of the robot cleaner 1. Alternatively, the robot cleaner 1 may automatically generate this confirmation, which will be described later in this specification. After confirmation, the processing unit 20 may create a map based on the recorded position of the moving object 34.

  Alternatively, when the recording is continued in S03a, the positioning step in S01, the control step in S02, and the creation step in S03 are repeated until the entire cleaning target region 28 is covered. The user may check with the robot cleaner 1 after recording, and the robot cleaner 1 may combine the recorded maps to generate a map of the entire area 28. This can be beneficial when mapping a large area 28 to be cleaned.

  Use of the interface 24 makes it easier to set the robot cleaner 1, but is not necessary for carrying out the present invention. Other communication means between the user and the robot cleaner 1, such as visual signs or others, can also be used.

  The moving object 34 may be, for example, the user himself, a reflector, or a transmitter such as an infrared or wireless transmitter carried by the user. In order to be better recognized by the user, the user may wear a reflective vest or others.

  The robot cleaner 1 may have two modes of operation, i.e. these are those where the robot cleaner 1 learns the perimeter 30, 30 ', and finally the perimeter 30, 30' and the area 28 to be cleaned. There are a teaching mode for generating a map and a cleaning mode configured to clean the area 28. However, these modes are not essential for carrying out the method according to the invention. These are used to allow better communication between the user and the robot cleaner 1 and for clarity or to clearly distinguish between the two modes of operation of the robot cleaner 1. May be.

  In addition, the user interface 24 may be used to type the names of the various areas 28 to be recorded, such as “kitchen”, “bathroom”, or “laundry room”. The naming of the area 28 may be executed after confirming the end of recording in S04, as shown in FIG.

  Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, various regions 28 to be cleaned are shown. In the example shown in FIGS. 3 to 5, the robot cleaner 1 continuously records the position of the moving object 34 while it moves along the broken line indicating the peripheral edge 30.

  Here, referring to FIG. 3, the recording and teaching of the relatively simple cleaning target area 28 will be described below. The robot cleaner 1 is positioned in the area 28 where it can observe and monitor the entire periphery 30. In FIG. 3, the peripheral edge 30 is substantially the boundary line of the region 28. The robot cleaner 1 may be configured to automatically self-position while tracking a moving object 34. Preferably, the robot cleaner 1 turns on the spot, but may move slightly during the control and recording of S02, which is also included in the scope of the present invention.

  The moving object 34 is initially arranged within the angle of view of the 3D sensor system of the positioning system 4 of the robot cleaner 1. Since the 3D sensor system 15 including the obstacle detection device and the camera device 18 is configured to take multiple photos per second, the processing unit 20 quickly generates commands for the propulsion systems 7, 8. The positioning system 4 and the obstacle detection device, respectively, along the periphery 30 when the positioning system 4 and the obstacle detection device are each rotatably mounted on the body 2. The moving path of the moving object 34 can be followed. The moving object 34 follows the periphery 30 in the counterclockwise direction A, so that the robot cleaner 1, the obstacle detection device, and the positioning system 4 each rotate or pivot in the same direction B, ie, counterclockwise. Alternatively, the moving object 34 may move clockwise along the periphery 30, 30 ', and the obstacle detection device and positioning system 4 or robot cleaner 1 rotates or turns clockwise accordingly. Also good.

  Each of the robot cleaner 1 and the processing unit 20 may be configured to automatically recognize that the moving object 34 has made a round along the periphery 30, whereby this is automatically a continuous position. Recording can be stopped and a map of the periphery 30 can be generated.

The robot cleaner 1 may be positioned in the area 28 or the periphery 30, 30 ′ to be recorded or outside the area 28 or the periphery 30, 30 ′ to be recorded, or may be self-positioning. The main criterion is that the obstacle detection device, the 3D sensor system 15, ie the camera device 18 and the first and second line lasers 12, 14 can see at least approximately the entire periphery 30 of the region 28. The broken lines in FIGS. 3 and 4 exemplify the angle of view α of the obstacle detection device and the 3D sensor system 15, respectively.

  The area 28 shown in FIG. 3 may be recorded and mapped by performing steps S01-S03 once, thereby completing the entire movement of the object 34 moving along the periphery 30. Immediately, confirmation of the continuous recording may be given to the robot cleaner.

FIG. 4 shows a larger cleaning area 28 with a different layout than that shown in FIG. In the region 28 according to FIG. 4, assuming that the outer periphery of the region 28 is a house wall or other, the obstacle detection device and the 3D sensor system 15 are respectively located at a point inside or outside the region 28 from the region 28. I can't see the whole thing. For this reason, the method steps of step S01 for positioning the robot cleaner 1, step S02 for controlling the positioning system 4 and step S03 for creating a map have to be repeated, whereby in this special case the robot cleaning The machine 1 must change its position from point D to point C because it can observe and monitor the entire area 28 from these two points D and C. The robot cleaner 1 therefore determines in this case that the recording has not yet been completed at 42 and repeats the method steps S01 to S03 for the other peripheral edge 30. Before doing so, the second decision step S 44, determining whether it is necessary to move the robot cleaner 1 from the current recording point D to a new recording point C (see FIG. 6). In the example shown in FIG. 4, the processing unit 20 records the other periphery 30 ′ for mapping the periphery 30, 30 ′ of the entire region 28 based on the image taken by the camera device 18. movement along the movement path 36 0 is determined to be necessary. Movement path 36 0 extends between the first recording point D and the second recording point C. The generated map in order to later be combined, the moving path 36 0 are respectively stored by the processing unit 20 and the storage medium 22, must be preserved. To generate a map that has been combined from a map which is recorded later, a required length and direction information such movement path 36 0.

  When the robot cleaner 1 arrives at the second recording point C, it self-positions and performs the steps S01-S03 accordingly on the other peripheral edge 30 '. Once that is done, the two maps generated for the two perimeters are merged to generate a map of the entire region. While generating the entire map of the region 28, the boundary line 32 used as an imaginary boundary line between the two perimeters 30, 30 'may be deleted by the processing unit 20 and its computer program 25. Alternatively, this boundary line 32 may be left, and the robot cleaner 1 may clean the entire area 28 in two stages, i.e. first one edge 30 and then the other edge 30 '.

  Depending on the size of the region 28 and the amount of fixed obstacles in the region 28, there may be more than two peripheral edges 30, 30 ′. This region 28 may be divided into as many perimeters as necessary. This division or whether division is necessary may be determined by the user or by the robot cleaner 1. It is also possible for the robot cleaner 1 to give the user as a moving object 34 what to do and where to go next.

FIG. 5 shows a region 28 similar to FIG. 3 , but in this case the region 28 is divided into two peripheral edges 30, 30 ′. In this case, the robot cleaner 1 does not need to move from a first point D in between recording or execution of steps S01~S03 the second point C, which is the region from various points or partial region This is because the entire 28 can be monitored. In FIG. 5 it is further shown that the positioning system 4 and 3D sensor system 15 of the robot cleaner 1 can be rotated to follow the moving object 34, whereas in FIGS. It is the robot cleaner 1 as a whole that turns or rotates by moving 36 and 38 in opposite directions. The positioning system 4 and the 3D sensor system 15 or the obstacle detection device thus follows the moving object 34 as it moves along the periphery 30, 30 ', whereby the body 2 of the robot cleaner 1 is idle. The state remains.

  Again, after the first perimeter 30 has been recorded, the robot cleaner 1 generates a confirmation, but once this is complete along the perimeter 30, it is continuously overlapping in the recorded positions. It is because you notice.

  Alternatively, the confirmation may be performed manually by the user via the user interface 24.

  The boundary line 32 shown in the figure may also be deleted by the processing unit 20 and the computer program 25 when the two perimeters 30, 30 are merged to produce a map of the entire region 28.

  The processing unit 20 and the storage medium 22 may be configured to store and store different maps of various areas 28 of an apartment or house, for example.

  The present invention has been described primarily with reference to several embodiments. However, as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, other embodiments than those disclosed above are equally possible within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

Claims (17)

  1. In a method for teaching a robot cleaner a peripheral edge of a region of interest,
    Positioning the robot cleaner within the area so that the obstacle detection device of the robot cleaner can monitor at least a portion of the area ;
    Controlling the obstacle detection device of the robot cleaner to track and continuously record the position of the object while the object is moving along the periphery of the region;
    Creating peripheral position data from the continuous recording of the position of the object;
    Including methods.
  2.   The method of claim 1, further comprising completing the teaching by sending a signal to the robot cleaner via the user interface indicating that the recording of the periphery has been completed.
  3.   The method according to claim 1, further comprising switching the robot cleaner to a cleaning mode via a user interface.
  4.   Performing the steps of claim 1 on other perimeters, coalescing the recorded perimeters, and position data of the recorded perimeters merged from the continuous recording of the positions. The method according to any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising the step of creating.
  5.   The method of claim 4, wherein the steps of claim 4 are repeated as many times as necessary to cover the entire area.
  6.   The method according to claim 1, comprising identifying the position data of the periphery via a user interface.
  7. In a robot cleaner,
    The body,
    A cleaning portion configured to clean the floor of the area of interest;
    A propulsion system configured to move the robot cleaner over the surface of the area;
    An obstacle detection device including a processing unit configured to control the propulsion system;
    Including
    The obstacle detection device is configured to monitor the periphery of the region within the region, track the position of the object while the object moves along the periphery, and continuously record the position, The processing unit is a robot cleaner configured to create position data of the periphery from the continuously recorded positions.
  8.   The robot cleaner according to claim 7, wherein the obstacle detection device includes a 3D sensor system.
  9. The 3D sensor system includes:
    A camera device configured to record an image of the vicinity of the robot cleaner;
    First and second vertical line lasers configured to illuminate the vicinity of the robot cleaner;
    Including
    The robot cleaner according to claim 8, wherein the processing unit is further configured to derive the position data from the recorded image.
  10.   The robot cleaner according to claim 9, wherein the processing unit derives a feature from the image in order to generate position data of the peripheral edge.
  11.   The processing unit is configured to control the propulsion system in such a way that the robot cleaner turns substantially in place while the obstacle detection device observes the object moving along the periphery. The robot cleaner according to any one of claims 7 to 10, which is configured.
  12.   The obstacle detection device is rotatably connected to the main body of the robot cleaner, thereby observing the object moving along the periphery by rotation while the robot cleaner is stationary. The robot cleaner according to any one of claims 7 to 10.
  13.   The robot cleaner according to any one of claims 7 to 12, comprising a user interface for communicating with a user.
  14.   The robot cleaner according to claim 7, wherein the moving object is a user.
  15.   14. The moving object according to any one of claims 7 to 13, wherein the moving object is a marker or transmitter, the marker or transmitter being carried by the user while the user is tracking the periphery. The robot cleaner described.
  16.   A computer-executable instruction, wherein the step of any one of claims 1-6 is performed when a robot cleaner is executed on a processing unit included in the cleaner. A computer program containing computer executable instructions to be executed.
  17. In a computer program product comprising a computer-readable storage medium,
    The computer program product comprising the computer program of claim 16, wherein the computer readable storage medium is embodied therein.
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